Class Politics and the Elections

LeoCasey at LeoCasey at
Wed Oct 18 11:00:35 PDT 2000

<< I wonder if you, or anyone here, would care to engage an issue I've attempted to notice before, without much success. That is the issue of moral connection with the person or party one votes for, and with the election as a whole. >>

I don't see the type of moral connection you posit. The only moral imperative that I see in elections is that of making an informed decision to support candidates and parties which, in your judgment, do as little harm and as much good as possible. The best analogy I can see to the choices we face in American elections is to medical triage, where because of a host of difficult conditions, a medical professional has to make difficult decisions about how to save the largest numbers of lives. One does not abandon one's moral commitment to the preservation of _all_ life by engaging in triage; one simply fulfills it to the greatest extent possible, given the circumstances. To paraphrase the old post-Hegelian, "We don't make history as we please, but under conditions..."

Insofar as I have moral qualms about supporting the election of a Gore, they would be on issues such as his support for capital punishment, which I consider to be a clearly immoral policy. But since the election of Bush would not produce a more positive result in this particular policy area, and yet clearly would produce far more negative results in other policy areas, I don't think that the choice to support Gore's election is a particularly difficult one to make.

Leo Casey United Federation of Teachers 260 Park Avenue South New York, New York 10010-7272 (212-598-6869)

Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never has, and it never will. If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet deprecate agitation are men who want crops without plowing the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightening. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its waters. -- Frederick Douglass --

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